Is there a way to move content from one field to another for many issues

Katia Smiles December 4, 2023

In my project I have created a custom description field with a predefined template.

I now want to migrate all existing issues with a filled in description field to my new custom description field within the same issues (it does not need to fit in the template), so that I don't lose the data from that field by hiding it.

I need to do this with over 300 issues, hence why I would rather not do it manually.

2 answers

1 accepted

5 votes
Answer accepted
Walter Buggenhout
Community Leader
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December 4, 2023

Hi @Katia Smiles ,

that shouldn't be too difficult. I would recommend setting up an automation rule with a scheduled trigger.

The schedule is not so important, but it lets you add a JQL filter, where all issues returned by the filter will be processed. Your filter should be something like this:

"Custom Description" is empty AND description is not empty

Use whatever retrieves the issues you want to update.

As an action, select edit issue, select the custom description field to update and select copy description from issue.

After saving your rule, just run it. If all goes well, you should have all descriptions copied over.

If you're not comfortable with a bulk update like this, specify a filter that updates just one or two issues at first (with a JQL filter on Key = ABC-1 e.g.), and if you trust your own solution, just adjust the filter.

Don't forget to disable the rule after you've done the update ...

Hope this helps!

Katia Smiles December 6, 2023

Thanks Walter - only problem I'm having now is my custom description isn't actually showing when I go into filters, whether in basic or JQL. I checked the field configuration and it's not hidden but is required and has wiki renderer enabled. My other custom fields do show though. 

Any idea where I'm going wrong? 

FMchar March 5, 2024

@Katia Smiles Did you find a way around this?

Katia Smiles March 5, 2024

@FMchar I ended up doing it manually, as my custom description didn't show in filters and I couldn't figure out what the problem was. 

0 votes
Hannes Obweger - JXL for Jira
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
December 5, 2023

Hi @Katia Smiles

just to add to Walter's answer: If you're open to solutions from the Atlassian Marketplace, this would be easy to do using the app that my team and I are working on, JXL for Jira.

JXL is a full-fledged spreadsheet/table view for your issues that allows viewing, inline-editing, sorting, and filtering by all your issue fields, much like you’d do in e.g. Excel or Google Sheets. It also allows bulk editing via copy/paste - within one field, but also between different fields. This is how this looks in action:


This works for any number of issues in one action - so you should be done with your work in no time. (I should add that JXL can do much more than the above: From support for (configurable) issue hierarchies, to issue grouping by any issue field(s), sum-ups, or conditional formatting.)

Any questions just let me know,



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